Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven (ESV).
Jesus based prayer on God's location: heaven. The purpose of prayer is to make earth like heaven. Since our Father lives in heaven, heavenly conditions must prevail on earth.
Here are samples:
1. In the beginning God created the heavens first and then the earth (Genesis 1:1). There is no record of heaven becoming empty and void, but earth did and was restored.
2. God made man on earth like Himself (Genesis 1:26).
3. And as we see in the Lord's prayer, God's will is supposed to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Prayer-fullness is one of the ways God establishes heavenly conditions on earth.
Your prayer life is making earth a little bit more like heaven everytime.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd.... (Rev 7:17).
The one who rules is The Lamb. "Lamb", not even a grown sheep. No resistance to dying on your behalf. It is this extreme softness, willingness to die that made the cross so potent. The Judged was judged for the convicts. Jesus was eager to abolish sin through the cross. After Gethsemane He marched straight to Calvary. The Lamb represents the forgiveness of every sin and the restoration of every good thing.
Every year during the feast of atonement the high priest would take blood into the holy of holies, sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat to atone for the sins of the nation.
The mercy seat was symbolic of God's throne or seat. Because of the blood mercy prevailed. Thus in the New Testament it is called the throne of grace (Heb 4:16). The throne will never be a place of condemnation, criticism or destruction for a believer. The Ruler is Himself the payment for past, present and future - He is Himself the sacrifice. Boldness before God is now the lifestyle of a believer (Heb 10).
This is the equipment necessary to make intercession. For on the basis of the sprinkled blood the priest blessed the people. Today we are all priests unto God. And on the basis of the blood of Jesus we are to pray for people.
We are kings and priests unto God (Rev 5:10). We reign through our priestly ministry. Through that mercy will dominate the earth.
Pray for people.
1 Pet 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (AMP).
Through the Church, individually and collectively we reveal God in this world. The purpose of the church is the manifestation of God in the earth. Through you, Paul says, the manifold wisdom of God is being made known to principalities and powers (Eph 3:10). It is through us that God will be seen by the world.
God will use you powerfully. Signs and wonders will be performed through you. In 1 Pe 2:9 four things are mentioned preceding God using His church: chosen, priests, consecration, divine possession. You have been divinely elected, singularly by God's veto, a choice that has separated you and made you a priest, one who is before God to offer worship and prayers and intercessions - your worship and intercessions will produce the wonders, the excellencies and the marvellous work of God in the earth.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." (John 3:16).
When God gave His Son He gave us His all. For not only is He His ONLY begotten Son but also all things were made by the Son. Thus the gift of Jesus Christ to us is God's gift of both the Son and all He made.
You're the richest.
You can now intercede for the creation as one who has a right to it all.
"... remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground" NASB.
Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses NASB.
The ground (territory, environment, atmosphere) can be affected by people because of what they do. For example, smoke because of the actions of a smoker can pollute an atmosphere. Nuclear reaction can affect soil for years. In the same way tv programmes, habits and behaviours of certain people can infect a whole generation. Hitler's actions affected Germany.
Adam's wrong action in the Garden of Eden not only affected the garden, it polluted the entire human race and the earth itself: "Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field" NASB.
By the same token, the blood of Abel, which Cain shed, hit the ground and made the earth cry out to God to God. Thus actions and blood can affect the earth and territory. That's why handkerchiefs from Paul could influence human bodies, as was the shadow of Peter.
In the same way God told Joshua wherever the sole of his feet tread would come under him.
When Moses met God, God told him to take off his shoes because the ground was holy. God being there had changed the atmosphere. In fact snakes lost their natural ability to strike. The snake is a picture of Satan and was rendered inoperable as far as venom was concerned. Moses could pick it up by its tail. The presence of God rendered it powerless.
Since Jesus' blood fell on the earth, earth has been rendered such that wherever a believer goes the planet is subdued under his or her feet. The whole planet is subdued under your feet.
Exert your authority. Pray.
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise... (Walter Smith, 1876)
God is immortal
He'll never die. He is not bound by the limitations of flesh - sight = He is omniscient - sees/knows everything. Distance = He is omnipresent - everywhere present at the same time. Power = He is omnipotent - He can do anything.
This is our God. And in prayer you can enforce this and take full advantage of this. We can command anything anywhere, we can and we will change everything everywhere. God is your extension everywhere. And He can do anything but fail.
Get into prayer, make full use of this.
Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. (Exod 3:5 NASB).
Then He said, "Throw it on the ground." So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
"He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. (Deut 8:5 NASB)
But the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail "-- so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand (Exod 4:3-4).
The desert was full of venomous snakes (Deuteronomy 8:5). VENOMOUS. Note that word. Venom kills or immobilises. God is able to render the venom powerless.
The presence of God sanctifies otherwise dangerous grounds. There was no longer any need for Moses to try to protect himself. His shoes were redundant. Moses thus would know that he can go onto enemy territory (Pharaoh's Egypt). Moses was in a snake infested place and his rod turned into a snake as well. The snake was one of the symbols of Egypt. Moses fled from Egypt just and he fled from it his rod which had become a snake as well. The ground however on which Moses stood had been hallowed by God. Now confront every thing that once scared you. No retreats!
So God told Moses to take off his shoes. Despite the presence of scorpions and the snakes. The presence of God makes every place safe. The serpents and scorpions have not been removed, the presence of God just makes them inoperable.
We live in a snake-infested world. The natural reaction is to flee unless you have the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Since Pentecost you have been covered in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13).
Wherever you are the grounds there are sanctified, venom cannot operate.
Father, hallowed be your name
Jesus was praying somewhere when He finished His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.
Jesus was actually in Mary and Martha's house where Martha had been worried about many things but Mary chose to sit at Jesus' feet. Jesus praised what Mary chose (time spent with the Lord over time spent 'serving the Lord').
Jesus and His twelve disciples had gone there and Martha attempted to feed them rather than sit down and listen. Martha then came and criticised her sister to Jesus. Jesus said "Martha you are worried about many things but Mary has chosen the good part and it will not be taken from her." "Not taken from" implies not one can take anything from her. Prayerfullness provides an anchor-like reinforcement for faith.
It was following this incident that Jesus taught His disciples to pray.
In the Lord's Prayer there is:
1. provision (bread)
2. a sense of belonging (forgiveness)
These three are associated with the Fatherhood of God, and in prayer the sense of security which only the Father can instil is reinforced. Because Martha wouldn't spend time at Jesus' feet she lacked the sense of security. Provision, forgiveness and protection are reinforced in fellowship with the Father.
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (KJV).
The Lamb is symbolic of substitutionary sacrifice. John the Baptist described Jesus as "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). Thus the existence of Jesus represents the removal of sin and thus the judgment that comes with it. The One who sits on the throne is Himself the removal of all sin.
Hence the universe is governed by mercy.
All power is in His hands - the hands of mercy
All riches and wisdom are in the hands of mercy.
All strength and honour, and all glory and blessing!
Since this is the case we are emboldened to pray. Prayer is directed to the Merciful One whose rule is mercy. He has ruled in your favour. And His mercy is forever.
There is nothing against you that will overcome His mercy.
The is no sin, accusation or guilt that can stand in His presence. You are forever forgiven no matter how you feel.
The Lamb reigns
Now come get mercy for the world in prayer.
When they came to the place called [a]The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
Golgotha has been described as a hill, and Jesus also said "If I am lifted up I will draw all people to Myself" (John 12.32). Also bear in mind that the place on the Mercy Seat where the blood was sprinkled was above the ark of the covenant and the two stones of the law were inside the ark along with manna (1 Ki 8.9).
.9; Ex 16:33-34). That is, God has exalted the place of mercy, the place where the high priest interceded for the people and obtained mercy above the law, above everything else. God has exalted the place of intercession.
And, of course Jesus died between two criminals, a posture of reconciliation.
Engaging in intercessory prayer is engaging in high divine work
And take the helmet of salvation
Helmets are obviously for the protection of the head. Figuratively, in the text it stands for the protection of your mind in warfare.
In the list it comes before the sword of the Spirit which is the Rhema of God.
If you notice, Eph. 6:11 does not encourage believers to take 'new territory' so much as to stand rather. The idea is that we are already seated in heavenly places, all powers and authorities are under our feet; we are simply told to stand, to guard what we've got. Salvation plays a role here. Ephesians 2:8 tells believers that they are saveD! The capital 'D' is to emphasise the position of the believer. Think that you are saved, saved from everything that could harm you.
You are not going to be saved even if that is how you feel. You are already saved, from every enemy and anything that could harm you. That mindset is like a helmet around your mind.
Now you speak accordingly, and engage in prayer with that mindset.
"Thou art exalted high above all gods"
There really are no gods (1 Cor 8:5).
But gods can stand for powers that make decisions: governments, courts, magistrates, governors, parents, schools, etc.
God is not only God above all the earth, but above all such powers:
When Nebuchadnezzar decreed the death of Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, God overrode his decision.
When Pharaoh decreed Israel staying in Egypt permanently God cancelled it.
In fact, Isaiah said the "The prey of the mighty shall be rescued" (49:25).
And when it comes to these powers God raises and deposes them (Ps 75:7 and Dan 2:21); the heart of the king is in the hands of God (Prov 21:1).
This gives the Church all the advantage. Jesus is Lord not only for Himself but for the benefit of the Church (Eph 1:22-23).
Paul said "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity" (1 Tim 2:1 NASB).
Thus the Church through prayer deploys power over kings, in fact, over all men.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:19-21 NASB).
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off [j]have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Eph 4:13 NASB).
God is standing next to you, so close to you that not even sin can divide you; there isn't that much space.
Sin has been removed by the blood. Sin requires death (Rom 6:23), blood represents payment, eternal payment. That means sin will never come between you and God forever.
Therefore you are so close to God you couldn't get closer.
Now utilise that closeness as intimacy with the Lord in worship and intercessory prayer.
HE IS HOLY
“There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God (1 Sam 2:2 NASB).
O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears (1Chr 17:20 NASB).
God is holy. But the word holy (qodesh = Hebrew) does not primarily mean sinless. Qodesh means "cut off", it means fundamentally "different", strange. It is in this sense that the biblical writers essentially understood God to be. Sinlessness is a natural over flow of His uniqueness.
In the texts above the context of 1 Sam 2:2 was in the midst of Hannah praising God for two reasons. 1. God gave her a son when she was barren 2. It ended her shame. Hannah defined holiness as God's ability to do the impossible. Who else can? He does, I repeat, He does what no ONE else does = that is what makes Him holy.
In 1 Chr 17:20 David was over whelmed with thanks to God for making him a king whose throne was forever. David had prepared to build God a house. God sent the prophet to tell David that instead of him building Him a house God would build him a house, establishing his throne forever. David was shocked. He went and sat before God and asked, "who am I that You have brought me this far?"
It is God shocking people that makes Him holy. He is different.
You can and should expect every day that He does not do what everybody expects or does, He is doing different things daily.
Continue in prayer for the manifestations of God's difference.